I am a videographer who specializes in videos on Travel, Ecology, Lifestyles and Sustainability. My travel series, Beyond Moscow, which featured five undiscovered Russian cities was acquired by Amazon Prime in 2018, as well as by SES, a European TV network broadcasting to over 300 million homes worldwide. I produced a number of food and drink series, including Food Track Foodie and BrewYork, about NYC’s beer industry. I also produced several ecology mini-documentaries, including “What’s in Brooklyn Gowanus Canal?” and multimedia stories, including an exploration into the Amazon rainforest fires, titled “Can The Amazon Survive?” I am also founder and executive direction of New York City Independent Film Festival.
1. What got you into travel writing?
I love people. I love taking pictures and making films of people around the world to showcase their culture, cuisine, traditions and history. I’m passionate about telling video stories of the places I go and destination I visit. I strive to tell a story about every place I travel to and the people who live there.
2. What’s the most challenging part of being a travel journalist for you?
Leaving the place and the people I made friends with. I get attached to people and the destination, and I hate saying good-bye. It makes me sad thinking that I will never see them again. I tried to stay in touch with people I meet, but it’s hard to come back to every place you enjoyed visiting.
3. What is one thing [equipment or personal item] you can’t go without on the road?
Music! I globetrot with wireless Bluetooth speakers in my bag, always. And of course my video camera—my most important storytelling tool.
4. What’s your most unusual and/or memorable travel experience?
SCUBA diving with a marine biologist in the Aegean Sea for a documentary about invasive ocean species—the lionfish and the puffer fish. We swam around the coral reef watching these creatures, which are decimating the local species, and threatening to destroy the reef itself. As I discovered these marine wonders, I realized that the next item I won’t be able to travel without will be an underwater camera.
5. How did you learn about NATJA and why did you join?
My wife had been a member before and she always said good things about NATJA. I decided to join because I want to meet fellow travelers and learn more about the amazing destinations and stories that are waiting to be filmed. NATJA’s marketplaces are great networking events to learn about storytelling opportunities and make business acquaintances.
6. What is the best piece of advice you could give to a rookie travel journalist?
You need to have a love of people and love be open to the new ways of seeing the world. Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness,” and it’s very true. You will realize that travel is making you a better, kinder, more tolerant and curious person.